Top tips when you're out and about
Bonfires any time of day
Burning our rubbish in our gardens is a traditional way of clearing plant and household waste, any time of year. If you live in an urban area, it is best to be mindful of your neighbours and how the smoke or even flames may harm their homes. Many of us, have believed the urban myth of having to wait until after 6.00pm before lighting, but there are no time rules to say when you can and can’t light bonfires on your property.
Legally, there are no specific rules on lighting bonfires, but the Environmental Protection Act 1990 does make it an offence to burn plastic, rubber or painted materials, as this will create poisonous fumes that can have a damaging effect on your health and that of your neighbours’.
Under the Highways Act 1980 anyone who lights a fire and then allows the smoke to blow across a public highway could be liable for an offence, if the smoke affects visibility on the highway and endangers the safety of traffic. So think about the wind direction before lighting.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your neighbours still remain your friends…
- You should not attempt to light a bonfire when it’s a windy day, as wind will blow the smoke further.
- Notify your neighbours in advance, if you are going to light a bonfire – they can remove their washing and close their windows.
- Make sure that you have the means to control the bonfire flames – clear around the bonfire area and also have a garden hose ready to go or buckets of water, just in case.
- We recommend that you do not leave a bonfire unattended for long periods of time.
- Make sure that there are no animals that may be harmed by the bonfire such as hedgehogs and keep your dog or cat or other pets indoors.
- Do not be tempted to throw petrol or Kerosene on the bonfire as this may cause flame flashbacks and harmful black smoke.
- Burn small amount of rubbish at a time and avoid burning painted materials, rubber and plastics.
- Don’t include any wet or green materials on your bonfire as that will just cause excess smoke.
All you need to get your bonfire going with no fuss at all, is to use Zip™ block or individually wrapped firestarters, just 3 or 4 cubes will easily light your fire in a safe and controlled manner. All that is left to do us stand back with a cup of tea and watch your waste turn to ash. Great for digging back into the garden!
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